By: Maniac E
Date: January 21, 2013
Horror icons are faces not only for the movies they represent but also the whole horror genre itself. Even if you don't like the movies you still recognize the faces of the death bringers. In the last 12 years where there any faces that can be truly be put up with the best horror icons?
What started off with movies like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman starring stars like: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and more. What you saw back in the day till late in the 70tees is that the people playing the characters where the big attractions for the movies. It was all about the stars and not so much about which monster(s) they were playing. This basically went on till the beginning of the 70tees until we came across Damien Thorn, Michael Myers, and Leatherface. The 70tees brought their characters to live and not only that it became icons because of the masks nobody knew who they were. With Damien some of the more religious folks got to see a incarnation of the devil.
In the 80tees we got some more to add to this row, like: Jason Voorhees, Chucky, Pinhead and of course! Freddy Kreuger. The 80tees horror movies were more about creating a face for all the horrors that occurred on the screen. The face(s) that would make sure you would never forget the murderers and ghouls. They all have something about them that would strike fear to you but also recognizing the outfits and absurd ways of looking. It seemed like the less human the icons became or were the better they would go with the audiences.
In the 90tees we saw the uprise of the teen slasher movies again with movies as Scream, I know what you did last summer, Urban Legend. With those movies also the horror icons became less of demons and more human like. It was again a big change in the genre. We got from the 90tees: Hannibal Lecter, Sadako/Samara, Candyman, and of course Ghostface. The 90tees made sure we got more realistic characters and more dying off the main icons to make sure someone else could carry on with legacy the first one ended with.
So now we come to the era of 2000 - 2012 which well had its fair share of horror movies and new franchises but in the end did it produce new horror icons that will stick around for more than 20 years? It is hard to say if you would ask me than I would have to say no. Reason for this is that most of the icons didn't get enough of screen time. Although of all characters introduced there is only one sticking out on top and that is: Jigsaw. The Saw franchise is one to keep in mind even if you don't like the movies the icon it produced is one that shouldn't be overlooked. It can be on par with let me say a Hannibal Lecter, Jigsaw is ruthless in his judgment of others and with his intellect in combination with his manipulative nature makes him one of the better of this time.
We also had things like Jeepers Creepers, Cromeskull, Hatchet, Killjoy. They produced some icons but none that would really stick to the bigger audiences which for them in the end means less and less movies. Jeepers Creepers 3 for instance is already in production for almost 10 years! This just goes to show the companies behind the movies aren't feeling the character and worries me if it ends up in a good way. Hatchet and Chromeskull had some underground success in trying to get the monster killing machine back in action. Unfortunately, they just never became big enough to get noticed and people would rather see remakes of Nightmare on Elmstreet.
The remakes are a product of the public not acknowledging the new monsters, masked figures instead they turn to the ghost stories like Paranormal Activity. Those ghost movies were the ones growing stronger and stronger and collecting all the big bucks and the reason why we already have 4 PA titles and some spinoff stuff in less than 5 years! For me as horror fan this just makes me wonder where the hell is this taking us. I want a fix of new stuff and not some sad remakes like Nightmare on Elmstreet or a bad Texas Chainsaw movie. I want to see more of Chromeskull and Victor Crowley. I can only hope the horror genre will pick itself up and really produce some good new icons but we will see in time. What do you think?
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